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Hurricane Sandy slices through the region

By Fritz Mayer
October 31, 2012

REGION — The remnants of Hurricane Sandy blew through the Upper Delaware Valley on October 29 and 30, snapping trees, downing power lines and wreaking havoc with winds that gusted over 60 miles per hour. By the morning of October 30 in Sullivan County, NY, 24,300 NYSEG customers were without power. In Wayne County, PA, PPL reported that 20,078 were out, and in Pike County, PA, the number was 13,705.

The storm was dubbed Frankenstorm because, as it came ashore, it merged with a winter storm in the west, and the resulting super storm was buttressed with cold air from the jet stream.

Before the storm hit, utility companies had called in crews from around the country to help with repairs. Even so, officials predicted that for many customers, power could be out for several days.

People were urged to stay off the roads as crews worked to
replace snapped telephone poles and to open roads that were blocked by fallen trees. In Pike County, 17 roads were reported to be closed or partially impassable; in Wayne, there were three reported closures. In Sullivan County, there were nearly 40 roads closed, including Route 17B in White Lake, NY.

For most local people, the storm would be what was reported early as a two- or three-day inconvenience. For others, it was much more than that. The storm took the life of Doreen Richardson, 69 of Kerhonkson, NY. State police report that she was driving through her trailer park when a large section of roof blew through the windshield of her car and struck her. The vehicle continued for a short distance before striking an unoccupied mobile home. She died at the scene.

Elsewhere, the damage created was historic. It reportedly produced the most damage to the New York City subway system than any previous storm in the system’s 108-year old history. In Atlantic City, huge chunks of the city’s famed boardwalk were washed away.

Hurricane Sandy is believed to have killed more than 20 people in the Northeast, and that figure may grow.

The cost of damage is likely to be more than that of Hurricane Irene, which barreled through the northeast last year with an estimated $16 billion cleanup charge.